Framework for Dredged Material Management
3.5 Detailed Assessment of Alternatives
For purposes of determining environmental acceptability, the detailed assessment
of alternatives should include the following:
Evaluation of the adequacy and timeliness of existing data.
Evaluation of the physical characteristics of the sediment.
Initial evaluation of sediment contamination.
Performing appropriate testing and assessments (to include required CWA or
Evaluation of management options or control measures.
Prior to conducting a detailed analysis of alternatives, conducting appropriate
coordination between USACE, USEPA, and other agencies as appropriate is critical to
ensure that any required sampling, testing, and evaluations are satisfactorily conducted.
Procedures for conducting the detailed evaluation of alternatives are described in
the following paragraphs. Since the procedures for conducting detailed evaluations for
open-water disposal, confined disposal, and beneficial use alternatives differ, additional
details are presented in Chapters 4, 5, and 6, respectively. A wide variety of technical
guidance documents are available and are referenced as appropriate in Chapters 4, 5, and
6. Computer-assisted management tools are also available for conducting many of the
detailed assessments, which may be required (Schroeder et al. 2004).
In addition to those considerations for environmental acceptability, a detailed
assessment of alternatives includes a comparative review of cost, technical feasibility,
and other factors, as appropriate. Even though these additional considerations would
normally be assessed as a part of the NEPA process for the project, they are beyond the
scope of this document.
3.5.1 Adequacy and Timeliness of Data
Projects for which all reasonable alternatives have been identified and adequately
evaluated still must be assessed in light of the CWA or MPRSA evaluation requirements.
For those projects in the operations and maintenance or permit renewal category for
which conditions have not changed, a preliminary assessment is made to determine the
adequacy and relevance of previous information for the continuance of the
dredging/disposal activities. If the existing data are sufficient to determine compliance
with CWA or MPRSA, no additional data are required prior to preparation of the CWA
or MPRSA evaluation and coordination of the Public Notice (see paragraph 3.6). For
new-work Federal navigation projects, new permit applications, or projects for which
information is insufficient, additional assessment following the framework as described
here and in Chapters 4, 5, and 6 are required to determine the environmentally acceptable